Today has been our last full day here in the Monument Lake Campground and also our stay in the Big Cypress Swamp Preserve. Did we do a lot? I'm not sure but the time flew. Did we learn anything? Yes, duck (really duck) when there is a mangrove branch coming your way in the canoe. Were there a lot of birds and alligators? No, the water is too high so the alligators are not congregating at the large watering holes and it is too warm so the birds are still up north!
This morning Sandy and I served pancakes to the other two rigs here using our electric griddle and the Honda generator. It worked fine until we ran out of gas. Thankfully, we had more in the jug! It was really a shake down test for our outing in about 3 weeks.
Our biggest challenge has been trying to burn the green fire wood we picked up on our first day here. It will burn, but not willingly. One needs to have a bed of coals to boil the moisture out of it first. Thankfully, a late arriving couple from Ft. Meyers brought us some dry oak, so we've had success getting the bed of coals ready. The local oak is even reasonably straight and splits well with the splitting maul I have along (If I can hit the log.) Another fellow told me that I must have a non-standard handle because he also has trouble hitting the log.
The weather here has been either fantastic or the pits depending upon how you want to look at it. The last 3 or 4 days have been somewhat windy with intermittent very light showers. On the other hand, we ought not to complain, as they told us on the TV tonight that a year ago, the early morning temperature was in the mid 30s. (For the last week, the night time low has been in the low 60s and the highs have often just hit 80. We can handle that.)
We've spent each evening solving the world's problems sitting around the camp fire. There have been a few mosquitoes, but they haven't bothered us too bad. Perhaps the smoke from our green wood has helped control them. (When the sun goes down, Sandy heads for the motorhome and does not fight the few bugs around.)
We've had 4 rigs here for the last two weeks and tomorrow we head in 4 different directions. One couple headed home yesterday to Fort Meyers, Florida to spend Christmas with the children. One of our party is heading for a campground in Everglades National Park with a trip to Key West eventually. Another member is moving a whole 7 miles to another campground. (This campground starts charging $16 a night tomorrow and he is moving to another campground here in the preserve that is free until January 6th. It is classified as a "hunting camp", with no bath house with flush toilets.) To close it out, we're heading to our RV Resort Park 100 miles north of here where we'll be living in luxury with water, electric and sewer connections Plus we have paved streets and neighbors every 30 feet on both sides of the road. What a switch from our style here. (I should add that we have to go 50 miles for groceries here verses only 25 miles from our resort park.) Life can be tough at times!
We've had a wonderful time here at the Rendezvous with our Escapee friends.